Further to our correspondence, please find attached the response I have received from the Department for Transport.
Damian Collins MP
24th February 2023
Thank you for your email of 30 January to Mark Harper, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, […] of […] regarding the Government’s plans to phase out the sale of new petrol motorcycles. I am replying as the Minister responsible for this issue.
The Government held a consultation seeking views on when to end the sale of new non-zero emission L-Category vehicles (motorbikes and mopeds) between July to September this year. The consultation sought views on ending the sale of all non-zero emission L-Category vehicles by 2035, and by 2030 for L-Category vehicles in certain specified subcategories. The Department is now analysing the responses, including the response from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) that your constituent references and with whom the Department has been engaging. A full response will be published in due course, taking the wide-ranging views on this issue into consideration.
The Government’s net zero commitment requires all sectors of our economy, including transport, to play a part and deliver substantial cuts to emissions to end the UK’s contribution to climate change. In 2020, our transport network was responsible for almost one quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with L-category vehicles responsible for 0.4% of this total. While cars and vans vastly outnumber motorcycles on UK roads, motorcycles are an important and sizeable vehicle population, with around 1.3 million licensed for road use in 2021. Decarbonisation of the whole of the UK’s road transport sector is crucial to ensure that the UK is able meet legally binding carbon reduction targets. The Government has already announced end of sale dates for other new non-zero emission road vehicles, including cars, vans and HGVs. The proposed end of sales dates positions the UK as a world leader in L-category decarbonisation, driving innovation and creating a market for zero emission L-Category vehicles.
More widely, I note that your constituent draws attention to the recently published report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on the transition to zero emission driving. The Government’s view is that the report’s conclusions, specifically the costings for new vehicle purchases, the time taken to charge electric vehicles (EVs) and the distribution of EV infrastructure, are not in line with the current evidence base and standard methodologies used across the industry.
The Climate Chang Committee is an independent, statutory body, which advises the UK and the devolved governments on emissions targets, recommended that the UK goes faster on curtailing emissions from road transport. This will help reduce the harmful air pollutants in the UK’s towns and cities, save motorists money and help to safeguard the environment. Therefore, the transition to zero emission vehicles is a must if the UK is to meet its legally binding climate change obligations. The Government’s end of sales dates of different internal combustion engine (ICE) road vehicles are an important aspect of that ambition.
All the latest evidence that the Government is currently aware of indicates that the lifetime carbon footprint of a battery electric car or van is significantly less than that of an equivalent petrol or diesel electric car or van today. The Department commissioned Ricardo Energy & Environment to produce a UK specific lifecycle analysis for greenhouse gas emissions of cars, vans, buses, and heavy goods vehicles with different powertrains. The analysis strongly supports the Government’s strategy of increasing electrification for decarbonising road transport and maximising the use of renewable energy. The report can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/lifecycle-analysis-of-uk-road-vehicles.
Regarding your constituents’ question on future tax regimes, the Government has committed to keeping the transition to electric vehicles affordable for consumers. The Government keeps all taxes under review and the Chancellor is responsible for setting tax rates, including vehicle excise duty and company car tax rates.
I can assure your constituent that the Government has a clear plan to implement its ambitious ICE phase out dates. In July 202, DfT published its 2035 Delivery Plan for transitioning to zero emission cars and vans and its Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which set out the Government’s commitments and the actions needed to decarbonize the entire transport system in the UK.
Turning to Mr […]’s comments on charging, the smallest L-category vehicles have detachable batteries, which can be charged on a three-pin plug, making them more suited to being charged in the home or office. However, there are now over 36,000 public chargepoints available in the UK and the Government is committed to working with the industry to accelerate the pace of rollout.
To future proof new homes, the Government published world leading legislation, which requires new homes and those undergoing major renovation with associated parking in England to have a chargepoint installed. These regulations will lead to the installation of up to 145,000 new chargepoints across England every year.
The Government also recognises that not all drivers and riders will have access to off-street parking, but this new legislation also requires new non-residential buildings and those undergoing major renovation, such as shops and workplaces, to have charging infrastructure installed at the point of construction. The Future of Transport Regulatory Review, which closed on 22nd November 2021, sought views on the Government seeking powers to require a minimum level of EV charging infrastructure in existing non-residential car parks and new standalone plot car parks. The consultation is currently being analysed and the Government will publish its response in due course.
Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP
Minister of State for Transport
23rd February 2023